Retirement Benefits

Articles about Retirement Benefits that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Philbin Brings New Look To State Board

JULY 2001 - Reflects Her Enthusiasm - After
two years on the job as director of the State Retirement Board which
oversees the massive State Retirement System, Ellen Philbin is still as
enthusiastic as her first day at the helm.

House Ways And Means Increases Pension Appropriation

MAY 2001 -
Three Percent State, Teacher COLA Included - House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, John Rogers has increased the
state’s appropriation to the Commonwealth’s pension liability fund by
$52 million in the FY2002 House Budget.

Disability Retirees Seek Relief From Court

MARCH 2001 - Controversy Over Earned Income Continues - For
disability retirees, the controversy over what is earned income
continues. As reported, the Public Employee Retirement Administration
Commission (PERAC) has been at odds with certain disability retirees,
whom it claims have earned in excess of what the retirement law allows.

Boston Teachers: Their Pensions And Salaries

MARCH 2001 -
In our recent articles on state employees' and teachers' pensions and
salaries, we did not include Boston Teachers. Although Boston Teachers
are members of the City of Boston Retirement System, their costs are
picked up by the state and, therefore, are included in the
Commonwealth's funding schedule as reported by PERAC.

"Circuit Breaker" Update

MARCH 2001 -
While the state's new property tax relief law,("circuit breaker") went
into effect this year, members, eligible for the relief, must wait
until next year (2002) to actually apply and receive money back.

"Circuit Breaker" Tax Relief Available: Homeowners and Renters, 65 or Over, May Be Eligible

JANUARY 2001 - 
Estimated 130,000 Could Benefit - Beginning this year, a new property tax relief law takes effect, under
which members, who are age 65 or over, can receive either a credit on
their state income taxes or, even if they owe no taxes, a cash refund
up to $375.

PERAC Wins Round Two vs. Disability Retirees

NOVEMBER 2000 -
In July, we reported on the ongoing controversy surrounding disability
retirees and the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission
(PERAC), over the law relating to disability retirees and the
restrictions on, as well as the reporting of, their earnings while on
disability (Section 91A, Chapter 32). We emphasized that as with any
litigation, these were initial findings, then favoring the retirees,
and, therefore subject to change. Well, unfortunately for these
retirees, our words of caution came true - with round two apparently
going in PERAC's favor.

Deferred Comp Update

NOVEMBER 2000 -
Since June when Aetna replaced Copeland as coordinator of the Mass
Deferred Compensation Program, Association members, who participate in
it, have contacted us to discuss the changes. Here's some of the
frequent topics of conversation.

Debate Over Alternative Retirement Plan Continues

SEPTEMBER 2000 - With
state and local officials claiming they are having difficulty filling
key jobs because of the current pension contribution rate and lack of
portability, a defined contribution (DC) plan such as that offered to
faculty members of the Commonwealth's higher education system,
continues to be a front-burner issue within the Massachusetts public
pension community.

Property Tax Abatement For Community Service

JULY 2000 -
Time To Take Another Look
- Members, age 60 or over, may want to explore whether their town may be
willing to establish a property tax abatement program that allows them
to perform volunteer service in exchange for a break in their property
taxes. While the concept is not new, there may be renewed interest
among local officials in the subject because of a provision contained
in the state budget passed at the end of last year.